Breast Imaging Market Resumes Steady Growth

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The market for breast imaging devices is expected to recover and continue growing at compound annual growth rate of 10 percent, reaching over $1 billion by 2017, a market analysis shows.

Breast Imaging Market Resumes Steady GrowthThe report prepared by iData Research observes that a strong trend for faster, higher quality imaging has resulted in an almost entire replacement of older analog mammography with more advanced systems.  In addition, emergence of breast-specific gamma imaging (BSGI) as a supplement to mammography and ultrasound is the fastest growing segment of the breast imaging market. Together they form the basis of a projected double-digit growth of the market.

“BSGI has a high level of sensitivity similar to that of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), but costs less and provides more comfort for patients,” wrote Dr. Kamran Zamanian, an analyst for iData Research. “BSGI is suitable for imaging women with breast implants, dense breasts, those at high risk. It can also help evaluate suspicious areas identified on a mammogram.”

Zamanian predicts the adoption of BSGI will increase as the technology becomes an accepted substitute for MRIs and as the installed base increases. In the short-term the addition of Gamma Medica, Inc. as new competitor in BSGI segment has increased the average selling price of the devices by nearly 30 percent, but that is expected to decline slightly through 2017 as Gamma’s LumaGEMTM MBI System faces more competition with the less expensive Dilon 6800® Gamma Camera from Dilon Technologies.

Not surprisingly, the market research study expects the market for analog mammography devices to fall rapidly with steady declines through 2017, as most of this older technology will be replaced with digital systems. Nevertheless a small market for analog mammography devices will remain with demand from clinics with low budgets, or low volumes. With lower demand, the average sales price for these analog machines will also likely decline.

A third segment of the market growth will be supplied by positron emission mammography, which is a new, specialized modality for breast cancer detection. In 2010, the market for this modality increased by more than 40 percent, and was unaffected by the global recession of 2008 and 2009. The technology offers an alternative for patients who cannot undergo MRI due to implanted metal devices, such as pacemakers, or those who for one reason or another cannot undergo MRIs.

The major players in the breast imaging market will remain with Hologic leading GE Healthcare and Fujifilm with a strong position in both digital and analog radiography devices, along with a strong reputation for their ablation devices. GE’s strengths stem from its 50-year history of making mammography systems, with a steady rate of innovation aimed at producing accurate, efficient and patient-friendly breast imaging products. GE bolsters its position by also producing breast MRI coils. Fujifilm has carved out a strong position as the only manufacturer to produce CR mammography systems.

The 12-page executive summary and the 411-page full report entitled, “U.S. Market for Women's Health Devices 2011” thoroughly analyzes 70 segments of women’s health markets and provides an in-depth look at the trends and challenges for each of them. The report is one of in a series of comprehensive global market intelligence reports for Europe, Asia, and South America.

iData Research is an international market research and consulting firm focused on providing market intelligence for the medical device, dental and pharmaceutical industries. For more information visit their website (www.idataresearch.net).

By Michael O’Leary, contributing writer, Health Imaging Hub.


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